Remembering Tausif

Tausif Chowdhury was known for his focus and his sense of humour.
Tausif Chowdhury was known for his focus and his sense of humour.
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In the time he was at Queen’s, Tausif Chowdhury was known for his focus, his sense of humour and his FIFA skill.

Chowdhury, 23, attended Queen’s as an engineering student during the 2013-14 academic year before transferring to Carleton University last fall.

Chowdhury’s body was found in Ottawa the morning of Nov. 27, and investigators found a hammer nearby. The Ottawa Police Service deemed his death a homicide, and two men were jointly charged with one count of manslaughter and one count of robbery. The accused, John Ruch and Stephen Kozielo, appeared in court by video on Dec. 20 and again on Jan. 8.

Because the case is currently before the court, the police couldn’t comment.

Queen’s University Muslim Student Association Chair Reyhan Viceer, a friend of Chowdhury’s during his time at Queen’s, said Chowdhury was a “friendly, humble person” who didn’t talk much but was always funny, and knew his goals in life.

“He wouldn’t put his burden on anybody else or show it, at least, and I think that’s a noble quality of someone who doesn’t want to adversely affect someone or show too much — to show that he’s … trying to be more respectful of people,” said Viceer, Sci ’15.

Though Chowdhury attended university in Canada, his parents live in Saudi Arabia, and he was originally from Bangladesh. Viceer said they met when Chowdhury joined QUMSA and started coming to socials. They were introduced by a mutual friend and became friends when they found out both sets of parents work in Saudi Arabia.

“We just met each other here and his parents were also in Saudi, so that’s just what got us talking to each other, and so with that he opened up more,” he said.

Chowdhury’s parents were contacted by the Ottawa Police after his death.

“I hope [his family] get the comfort that they deserve and that they know their son was an amazing person,” Viceer said.

“I can hardly imagine what the family’s going through, but I just pray that they get the comfort they deserve and that they get over this hard time, and that this difficult time passes by as smoothly as possible for them.”

Viceer said interfaith chaplain Kate Johnson and the Engineering and Applied Sciences department have reached out to Chowdhury’s friends. The department contacted Viceer after Chowdhury’s death and told him they would help him with any problems.

“Overall, the community itself is really supportive. There’s always people reaching out to you, so it’s not like there’s no one here — even the [Kingston] Muslim community, just the Queen’s community as well, everyone’s been helpful and supportive,” he said. “We really appreciate that.”

Viceer emphasized the importance of remembering Chowdhury for who he was as a person, not for the manner of his death.

“I wanted him to be remembered for who he was — a respectful person and just someone who was — he was just someone to be fun around, hang around with, and he just brought that sense of calmness to everyone,” he said. “We’ve learned a lot of good things from him — like I’ve learned to be more focused, relaxed, not freak out … he’d always comfort me.

“He’s just someone that I feel like nobody should forget.”

— Chloe Sobel

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